133. The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller

Jackson knows all about the flying reindeer, he knows about the elves and the secret North Pole workshop, he knows about the magic that allows Father Christmas to deliver presents around the world in just one night, but there’s one thing he doesn’t know …  how did Father Christmas become Father Christmas?

That all changes when, one Christmas Eve, Jackson meets Father Christmas and hears his incredible story.   

So begins an enchanting fairy-tale into a magical snowy landscape, where Torvil, a mean-spirited and miserly elf, is about to discover the true meaning of Christmas. This might not have been the story Jackson was expecting but, as Father Christmas tells him, no good story ever is… 

Paperback | 304 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK (October 31st 2019)

I feel a bit cheated. I was so excited to read this book and the reviews on the back of the book made me think that I was onto a goodun. However, a few chapters in I had a niggle, and then a few chapters more, the niggle became knowledge and I became most irritated.

This was easy to read and easy to understand. I had no difficulty with it.

Jackson was just the right sort of boy to have discovered Father Christmas. Full of belief, hope and a character who saw the world through eyes of magic. Father Christmas’s story was less jolly and not wholly original but captivating enough for the targeted audience.

It was very easy to visualise what was happening, to understand what was happening and to stand behind the characters as the story continued.

Like I said earlier, I feel cheated because I thought I was getting a unique and original story but instead I got a retelling of ‘A Christmas Carol’, the only difference really being a couple of name changes and putting it in a different setting. Though Ben Miller acknowledges the influence of Charles Dicken’s classic in earlier drafts of this book, I feel that not stating that ‘The Night I Met Father Christmas’ is a retelling or even labeling it as ‘based on’, is a huge misdirection and one that irritated me to no end.

Up and down. I was enjoying it until I realised how many similarities there were between it and ‘A Christmas Carol.’ From there on, my enjoyment wavered but I still managed to read till the end.

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